Tidings – June 2018
In This Issue
- President’s Message – June 2018 – Chris Wood, USA
- International Conference 2018 Report – Jaap Terra, The Netherlands
- Reflections from 2018 International Conference
- Ghana Conference Report 2018 – Alice Wood, USA
- Urantia Young Adults Post-Conference – Antonio Schefer, The Netherlands
- Urantia Association Educational Activities – Jeannie Vázquez, Uruguay
- We Have Modernized Urantia Association International – Bradly Tharp, USA
- Latin American Conference 2018 in Brazil – Enrique Traver, Brazil
- 2021 Urantia Association International Conference – Peru
- Bogotá International Book Fair – 2018 – Esperanza Tovar and Andrés Ramírez, Colombia
- Spain National Meeting Report – 2018 – Olga Lopez, Spain
- Effective Study Groups – Gaetan Charland, Quebec
- Dutch Urantia Association Annual Conference – Jaap Terra, The Netherlands
- Peru Urantia Association – National Meeting
- Upcoming Events
Chris Wood, USA
I was recently reading Paper 44 of The Urantia Book, studying the Celestial Artisans. We are informed about the “harmony of associated spirits” which is the arrangements of various and different beings so that they produce “majestic melodies.” This idea of the harmony within a group captures so well what I have witnessed across the Urantia community these last few months.
There is now a recognizable tune to our expanding service as new patches of Urantia Book students emerge across the globe. Our Dissemination Committee helps us find others who would become inspired by this revelation. Our Membership Committee is experienced in reaching out to these new pockets of truth seekers, helping to unite with isolated students and regional groups. Our Study Groups Committee brings regular and focused study into our communities, and our Conference Committee helps create meaningful events. Our Education Committee sources out and presents quality in-depth lessons from across the globe, and our Communications Committee connects all of us within the global Urantia community. Of course our Translations Committee makes all of this connecting more far-reaching with their loving dedication to bridging language barriers.
The harmony of this united effort hums louder every year. And what an exciting time for our expanding Urantia Association! These last few months have seen a Triennial International Conference, an African Continental Conference in Accra, Ghana, and The Urantia Book represented in Bogota, Colombia, at one of the largest book fairs in Latin America. We can look ahead to the November Latin American Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the 2019 European Conference in Tallin, Estonia and the next International Conference in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru in 2021.
Every new project has an amazing story behind it, and every new believer in this revelation could fill chapters with their journey. But when I take it all in, all together—when I witness and contemplate the global melody emerging from the Urantia community—all I can do is be overcome by the harmony buzzing across the world. And as our personal connections stir that music of the soul, we can all raise our voices and join in.
Jaap Terra, The Netherlands
After three whole years of intensive preparation it finally happened! The 10th International Conference of Urantia Association International has taken place.
It is up to me to report on this great conference. Actually it is an impossible task to reveal just how much it touched us—all the wonderful people who attended and who were so deeply moved, inspired, and motivated.
Because of the content of the presentations, breakout sessions and workshops, Jesus certainly left his mark—seeds were sown and plants were planted for further growth on Urantia from the “fifth epochal revelation” (i.e. the new revelations contained in The Urantia Book.)
On the basis of the many positive reactions and feedback we received, we can safely say that this conference was very successful. Many guests indicated that they were personally touched on a deep level and that during the conference—and even after several days—they felt that this is Urantia as Jesus intended... a “world in light and life.”
The quality and content of the presentations, the efficient organization of the conference and the comfortable accommodation were very much appreciated. Feeling brotherhood as God intended, meeting new friends, experiencing fine conversations, making many international "boundless" contacts, and enjoying the talented evening entertainment left us with beautiful and valuable memories to take home with us.
Michael of Nebadon needs people to be able to realize his beautiful plans for Urantia for the future. The many who contributed to this conference have managed to contribute to the success of this meeting on Urantia, despite all the work that had to be done to get there.
Initially, we had a budget for 100 attendees. The final number was 177 from 23 countries. Because of this larger number we were able to offer our guests more, such as top quality entertainment each night! The NH Conference Center Leeuwenhorst also gave us its best—a big compliment to them!
Most activities, such as the opening night, the plenary presentations, some workshops, the evening entertainment, and the closing ceremony were broadcast via live streaming. Many Urantia Book readers in the global Urantia community received emails with links to the channel. The videos are now available for viewing on Urantia Association’s webite: https://urantia-association.org/2018/video-presentations-netherlands-conference-2018. They can also be downloaded and viewed at the conference website at: https://www.uai2018.org/program/presentations/en.
We considered it a great honor to have been invited to organize this International Conference in Europe for Urantia Association International. Thank you again to all who made this conference such a great success.
With kind regards,
President of Urantia Association of the Netherlands (UAISUN)
Email: [email protected]
The following are testimonials from two conference attendees, Jorge Buckingham and Mairam Durand from Peru who shared their experiences of the International Conference in The Netherlands with us.|
Jorge Buckingham, Urantia Peru:
It is said that that the great experiences are remembered forever—more so if such experiences form part of a learning process that transforms our lives. And it must be true, because evoking the memories of the 10th Urantia Association International Conference brings me a very special pleasure.
The event took place between the 12th and 15th of April, in Noordwijkerhout, in the Netherlands. The venue was the Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst—a space resembling the most prestigious universities of the world, thus contributing a suitable academic environment for the conference. The vitality of Antoinette Hall and the iconic reggae singer Pato Banton as masters of ceremony is worthy to note… their energy and contact with the audience stimulated and prepared all for the programs of reflection, education, and entertainment.
I particularly liked the methodology used to develop the conference program. After brief but meaningful plenaries of about 20 minutes, the participants joined previously assigned groups in which they could discuss the presented topics in a deep and detailed way. Groups were formed with consideration to native languages. The group leaders assigned tasks and offered references and questions for discussion so participants could link theoretical concepts with daily life experiences. It was a dynamic and interactive way of doing things because all the attendees had the same opportunity to express themselves and contribute their ideas.
It was very memorable when a group of us Colombians decided to explore the grounds of the conference venue to see up close the typical Holland crops of tulips. It was almost sunset time and it was cold. However, it was truly beautiful! We took several pictures of ourselves enjoying the amazing colors of the flowers. I remember one of the girls of the group mentioned that it was like a foresight of the beauty that awaits us on the next worlds. There are times in which words cannot express that which overflows in our soul!
It was very gratifying to get to know and share, throughout four days of intense activity, with so many fellow readers of The Urantia Book from all the continents of the world, all united under the same flag… different people, people from different races, ideologies, or nationalities… all united in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, committed to giving the best of themselves, in the task of loving and serving humanity.
To sum up, being part of this international conference, celebrated near the city of Amsterdam has been enthusiastically memorable and grandiose.
Mairam Durand, Urantia Peru:
To travel is a human activity that allows us to contrast our own reality with new realities we are getting to know… a true adventure, indeed. But getting to know so many people (almost two hundred) who consider The Urantia Book part of their lives is, without doubt, also a privilege.
This 2018 International Conference in Amsterdam drew attendees from 23 countries of the world and allowed us to closely observe those values we choose to follow: cultivating friendship, brotherhood, and lots of goodness. The presence of people from so many countries certainly makes a multicultural conference in which, beyond differences, there is brotherhood… besides the language limitations of each participant to communicate, there is tolerance and harmony in order to understand each other, without discrimination, prejudices, or differences.
I personally spent time talking to Urantians that have read the book for many years and we shared anecdotes we have had in our experience while studying The Urantia Book. Thus we verified how it changed our lives and realized we all had the same objective: to increasingly disseminate the teachings of the fifth revelation.
It was also an adventure for me to travel to the post-conference event on Texel Island, organised in order to give voice to young Urantians in workshops and lectures. I got to know the experience of fresh youngsters learning how to live and develop a family with the teachings of The Urantia Book for life guidance, building a future underpinned by revelation.
I had not only the valuable experience of visiting Amsterdam but also the one of gaining so many sisters and brothers in four days… a true miracle, considering the fact that it took my father and mother nine months to bring me into the world! And from that conference I returned to Peru with so many siblings… true siblings.
I must conclude this little note thanking all and each of the organizers (whose names I won´t mention) because, at every moment each one from its supporting role, made us feel comfortable, at home, and as if we were members of a family… the great family Urantia has to offer us.
Alice Wood, USA
Gathering together under the theme “Mother Spirit Mama Africa,” the enthusiasm for the teachings of The Urantia Book was obvious at the Urantia conference in Accra, Ghana this past April. I felt as though I was standing on the ground floor of what will become a towering continental Urantia community.
Among the fifty people at the conference, hailing from ten different countries, attendees were largely under the age of forty and, while about half of them were experienced students of The Urantia Book, the other half were completely new to the teachings. The high percentage of people being introduced to the book at the conference is thanks to a unique, generational atmosphere that exists in Africa at this moment. Young Africans are thirsty for truth and that seems to instill in them fertile soil for conversations about God, religion, and the positive method of living demonstrated by Jesus. I continue to think back on my brief time at the conference, wishing that I had more opportunity to get to know the people and participate in the building of their community. But in the end, it’s their home, and while I hope to go back, it is their privilege to build Urantia Africa into a thriving community.
Due to the nature of having so many people with no prior knowledge of the book, there was a separate discussion that functioned as an introduction to The Urantia Book, as well as some speeches that were geared toward new students of the book. However, it was the presentations on the subject of “Mother Spirit Mama Africa” that shined. Women from Urantia Africa shared their experiences and their thoughts on women’s rights in Africa, how The Urantia Book has changed their lives and created a sense of empowerment. They expressed the joy and hope that has been instilled in them from getting to know Jesus, the Father, and their creation. During one particularly energetic presentation, the speaker, Sunshine Anazodo, powerfully stomped her foot, took on a “ready to enseraphim” stance, and exclaimed, “I feel I could spread my wings and fly!” Her enthusiasm was met with raucous applause from the audience.
Through a desire to live the teachings and do good things for others, a collection was taken so that food and hygiene supplies could be bought for children at an orphanage in Accra. On the second day, in the afternoon, many of the conference attendees visited the children’s home, bringing the supplies with them. The children appeared well cared for and were very well behaved. They talked about their favorite subjects in school, their love of sports, and we could see them playing silly games with each other. As with so many other places we saw in Ghana, the need for income was plain. The children at this home appeared well taken care of, but on the edge of the small campus sat another building, unfinished, that they had been working on for the past five years in the hopes of expanding their mission. The process of building it was so slow that the cement skeleton of the building was already showing cracks. Nonetheless, upon leaving, I was glad to know that the children there were happy and healthy.
Toward the end of the conference, a quote from The Urantia Book was brought forth for discussion [Paper 33:3.5-6, page 368.5-369.1] where, in honor of the completion of his seventh bestowal, the Creative Mother Spirit and universe creatures pledge loyalty to the Creator Son. In a noble act of lifting her up, Michael then declares his dependence on the Divine Minister, and the universe creatures pledge loyalty to her as well. She does not ask for it, she is not looking for attention, but she is needed, and she is equal. The act of honoring the partner is beautiful, and it is what I witnessed at the conference in Ghana. As many of the women had never taken on a formal role in the community, they were lifted-up and specifically invited to speak. Through their presentations, they made it known that they are strong, they are wise, and they are passionate, and I hope that they will continue to make their voices heard at future events. They have given me joy in the knowledge that the teachings of The Urantia Book will live and thrive in people around the world.
Antonio Schefer, The Netherlands
The Urantia Young Adults International committee (UYAI) recently hosted, for the first time in its short history, its very own conference, which was a truly special event. We called it the “2018 UYAI Post-Conference” as it was held right after Urantia Association’s International Conference in The Netherlands.
The conference was in the form of a tour and we began by travelling to The Rijksmuseum with 68 Urantia Book readers using a 50-person touring bus, 2 minivans and a taxi. We visited a renowned museum where we saw many famous paintings such as The Night Watch, by Rembrandt van Rijn; The Milkmaid, by Johannes Vermeer; and Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait.
After our visit to the museum we embarked on a 2-hour boat tour through the Amsterdam canals to see and learn about the history of the capital of The Netherlands. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially when traveling in your “private boat” accompanied by 40 fellow Urantia Book readers from all over the world! We ended the day with dinner and drinks near at The Leidseplein, then headed back to the Conference Centre.
The next day, Monday was when the official post-conference began. Some of our original group had to go home, but those of us booked for the entire post-conference boarded another tour-bus to travel to various historical towns such as Volendam, Enkuizen and Edam. While on the bus Anna Zeven presented the first workshop and Rick Warren gave us a brief book presentation. We then caught a ferry from the city of Den Helder to the island of Texel and stayed in a hostel at the Stayokay Texel.
Tuesday-morning Alexander Heh from Germany conducted a meditation session followed by a workshop about meditation. Collins Lomo from Ghana gave a workshop on the human qualities of Jesus; he also gave us an insight into how the fifth epochal revelation is impacting people in Africa. It was truly uplifting to hear about what is happening in Africa and how the people there think about Jesus and The Urantia Book. In the afternoon we went to the beach where some of us took a three-and-a-half-mile walk from the hostel to the beach and explored Texel Island. For many of us, it was great to see the North Sea with our own eyes.
Our next step was to visit Ecomare, a nature museum that featured an orphanage for sea-creatures from the North Sea and birds of Texel Island. This was another once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of us. (Incorporating these kinds of excursions before or after a conference adds to quality of the experience for those who have travelled so far to attend a Urantia conference.)
After dinner at the hostel, Mairam Durand from Peru conducted a workshop on Jesus as a Leader; this was followed by another workshop given by Anna Zeven about personal connections and attitude change. Some of us “night-owls” went stargazing looking for Havona! (We are told in The Urantia Book that if we look towards the center of the Sagittarius constellation we are looking in the direction of Havona.) We used an app on our phones called “Star Chart” to help us navigate the sky! Alexander told us that this island is where he has seen the most stars ever in his life. I can agree with him—the starry night-sky was absolutely amazing!
We began Wednesday with a wonderful worship session/workshop conducted by James Woodward. Sean Privitera closed the official workshop program that morning with a workshop about the human qualities of Jesus from a different perspective from the one Collins Lomo presented the day before.
Our tour ended way too fast! After lunch at the hostel we took a bus to the ferry that took us back to the mainland. After many big hugs and fond farewells, it was time to go our own separate ways. It was a very special four days. The age group of attendees was a good mixture of young adult readers and older, more seasoned readers. We were able to learn a lot from one another. Organizing and travelling to the Texel Island for this post-conference was a dynamic experience and at times quite challenging but our group was flexible—especially when travelling by public transport. The UYAI team (Anna Zeven, Samantha Nior, Alexander Heh and I) gained many valuable lessons and I can’t wait to help organize another event like this at the next conference in 2021 in Peru. Start planning for that conference now! It will be another once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I would like to thank several special people who helped us with event: Pio Park for being our conference photographer; Winston Lucassen for helping out with transporting people on the island when we needed it the most; Urantia Association International and the Urantia Book Fellowship for their financial support; and finally Anna Zeven, our delightful UYAI Chair who orchestrated this 2018 UYAI Post-Conference and put in so much work to make it happen.
International Conference Chair
Urantia Association International
Click here for more information about the 2018 UYAI Post-Conference
Jeannie Vázquez, Uruguay
Dear Friends and Readers of The Urantia Book,
It is a pleasure to inform you about the latest activities of Urantia Association’s Education Committee.
We are organizing a cycle of monthly live webinars. On March 24, the Association’s Study Groups Committee Chair, Gaetan Charland, presented the theme “Improving the Quality and Effectiveness of Study Groups.” In this webinar, Gaetan explored how study groups may be improved to work toward fulfilling The Urantia Book’s mission, as stated in the book:
…to expand cosmic consciousness and enhance spiritual perception. [Paper 0:0.2, page 1.2]
Our attention was brought to the challenge as stated at the end of Paper 196:
…The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. [Paper 196:3.34, page 2097.2]
To improve effectiveness in your study group, Gaetan offered the following suggestions:
- Have some clear objectives and share them with the group.
- Acquire new techniques of learning and teaching.
- Introduce new ways of studying The Urantia Book.
- Help students become involved in service-projects.
- Focus on spiritual and intellectual growth.
- Encourage participants of your group to make presentations to the group.
- As a host, take UBIS courses to improve your skills at facilitating your group.
- Use presentations or study aids to foster teaching skills.
- Nurture potential leaders and teachers in your groups by sharing responsibilities.
- Make your study group more dynamic by changing the format.
You can view this instructive presentation on the Association’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/xLCKFD7kluw
On April 28, the Association’s Judicial Commissioner, Benet Rutenberg, presented a webinar on "Spiritual Unity and the Spirit of Truth."
Benet was inspired to make this presentation through two avenues of development beginning about ten years ago. He said:
The ongoing discussion of unity within our Urantia community is a cause with many faces, hopes and beliefs. All of these desires are well intended. And all of them require a sound foundation of spiritual truth and values, a firm structure of intellectual meanings and the necessity of being grounded in material fact. The purpose of this discussion on Spiritual Unity is to elevate our awareness and comprehension to the spiritual level so that we may sometime enjoy not only the hope of success but also the facts, meanings and values which will bring the satisfaction of spiritual growth necessary for seeking the heavenly first with all that is needful following in the wake.
You can see the Benet’s presentation on the Association’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/zerUMpo1vTI
The second avenue of discovery is found in the study of The Spirit of Truth along with a more comprehensive inclusion of the related factors of: living in the presence of God—Adjuster contact, the influence of Michael's Spirit of Truth and of the Holy Spirit, and how we relate in and to the Supreme. When we live in the presence of God we are the brotherhood of man. As these are all high spiritual realities they may be accessed only on spiritual planes. At NO time have we not had—do we not have—the possibility and the actuality of Spiritual Unity.
When and as we live and work in partnership with God, the will of God brings forth what is needed. As a boat moves through the water, so we will move through time and into eternity. In the wake of progress, it is the strong, powerful and persistent decisions that bring us to a place where we all are united in spirit even as we work through diverse means towards the exact same ends. In the wake of faith union with the living Jesus will be found spiritual unity and all else our united wills require.
In addition, our Urantia Association Education Committee organized a Spanish Online Workshop series, with 13 sessions, about “Leadership and Teaching According to The Urantia Book Teachings.” This series was sponsored by the Urantia Association of Brazil. Some themes presented in this workshop series were:
- “The Urantia Book Publication Mandate and the Training of Leaders and Teachers” presented by Jeannie Vázquez (Uruguay)
- “The Connection with the Spirit of Truth” presented by Gerardo Leche (Guatemala)
- "How to be a Teacher of The Urantia Book Teachings" presented by Jaime Rey Albornoz (Colombia)
- “Truth and Righteousness” presented by Marcelino Ramirez (Venezuela)
- “The Personal Preparation of Jesus to Serve the Father and Humanity” presented by Wilson Leon (Colombia)
- “Communion with God” presented by Isabel Reinoso (Colombia)
- “The Will of God—Divine Worship” presented by Jaime Díaz Page (Mexico)
- “Leadership According to The Urantia Book” presented by Mairam Durand (Peru)
- “Development of Jesus’ Leadership in his Personal Ministry” presented by Luis Miguel Morales (Argentina)
We want to express our deep gratitude to all the presenters of these webinars and workshops for their outstanding service, and special thanks to Flor Robles, Martin Guzman and Kathleen Swadling for their loving service and steadfast collaboration.
To see the workshop series videos, visit: https://bit.ly/2k4gW9d
You can also visit the Association’s Facebook page to hear about these webinars and other activities: https://www.facebook.com/urantia.association/
We also invite you to visit and become a member of Urantia Associations ongoing study group discussions on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UrantiaAssociationInternational/ and the Forum at: https://urantia-association.org/forums
In fraternal service,
Education Committee Chair
Urantia Association International
Bradly Tharp, USA
As the Chief Financial Officer of Urantia Association International and Chair of the Association’s Finance Committee, it has been my privilege to witness the growth and transformation of the International Association. This modernization has been due to the quality leadership and exemplary service of many talented volunteers, committing their professional skill, personal idealism, and loving dedication to the mission of the global dissemination of The Urantia Book and its teachings. Upon such a foundation of idealism, vision, and effort by so many, the Association has constructed an organizational infrastructure that reaches around the world today, bringing together thousands of students and believers in fellowship with one another, in a shared ministry of in-depth study and a mission of service.
The dawn of the digital age has intersected with the successful efforts of Urantia Foundation to achieve global book distribution and offer more than a dozen translations of The Urantia Book for worldwide availability, both hard copy and digital download. This new era has brought steady growth to the Association, along with new communication capabilities, allowing face-to-face meetings for all its members and local leaders around the world. We now offer multilingual virtual study groups, live-streaming and archiving of presentations, workshops and training, a digital archive for future access, and social media communities in many languages. Our Representative Council, International Service Board, and expanding continental leadership teams now conduct virtual meetings with real-time translation and document sharing online. We have also developed shared website and database development systems, including integrated business software applications and organizational tools for our National and Local Associations. Other benefits of the modernization of Urantia Association are local volunteer recruiting and training for service to regional associations, banking, budgeting, and global cash transfer capabilities, which now reach around the world to any association. All these and many other new tools for building and connecting community were not available or even imaginable just two decades ago!
Urantia Association has entered and fully embraced the digital age to modernize the way we present our mission and ministry to the world. This has taken many years, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the work of dedicated servants and servant-leaders to accomplish. Every dollar was a donated dollar and every hour of time was a donated hour—expressions of love, loyalty, duty and opportunity for service. But we are not done here; there is more to do, so much more!
The revelation teaches us a simple fact and truth: the more potential that is actualized and realized, the more potential appears. And Urantia Association has certainly realized much of its former potential this past decade. That success has created and unleashed much more potential for our future leaders to tackle with enthusiasm. Certainly, the timing of the publishing of the revelation was no coincidence but was planned for the organizational support-structure for dissemination to be experienced, battle-tested, and sufficiently organized for this anticipated explosion of potentials and achievements witnessed in the past 20 years.
We have met that challenge with a glorious and painful mix of success and failure, optimism and disappointment, faith and uncertainty—and the assurance that those who gave us this gift of The Urantia Book would help us succeed in our shared mission of epochal revelation.
Continued success by Urantia Association International requires more volunteers, more leaders, more money, and more members committed to the mission of global dissemination of the revelation and its teachings. Today, the Association’s Operational Budget is $5,000 per month—USD $60,000 per year. That amount pays for the Central Office and the operational expenses for all the systems, software, translations, gatherings, and services we provide to our constituent associations.
In addition to this operational and administrative budget, the Association has distributed well over $100,000 directly to its associations for global seeding and dissemination, conferences and event funding, event attendance sponsorships and financial aid, translations, videography live-streaming, training—and many other forms of direct cash aid and payments—in just the past two years. All this funding comes from the freewill donations of generous supporters like many of you.
Urantia Association has recently managed to stabilize its operational costs and project little growth in that budget beyond service and vendor inflationary increases over time; but the opportunities for mission project-spending only grows and grows. Our new Continental Coordinators in Europe and Latin America are finding and creating many new opportunities for growth and regional collaboration by the regional associations they serve. The Association is now seeking candidates for Continental Developers for Africa and India/Asia. We will support study groups and leaders developing there, and help formulate new regional associations.
Future planning priorities are to increase the number and frequency of continental, regional, national, and local events. We are prepared to support Urantia Book activities that are planned, sponsored, and organized locally/regionally. Due to the recognition of growth potentials and wise infrastructure planning, Urantia Association is ready to serve far more people around the world for even more universal distribution of resources, achieving greater impact for dissemination success and service with donor money.
We have barely begun this adventure in faith and service to disseminate this gift, which is to live and serve for many generations still to come! It is my prayer and hope that you will help us meet those challenges of loving service. Please join in and volunteer and donate money—we have embarked on the grand and noble adventure of the global Urantia Association International.
Urantia Association International
Enrique Traver, Brazil
We are rapidly approaching the time when the 2nd Latin American regional conference will be held in São Paulo, Brazil on November 1—4, 2018. The theme for the conference will be “Living the Teachings” and will take place at the Monaco Hotel, in the city of Guarulhos (one of the towns of São Paulo) and which is very close to the São Paulo International Airport (Guarulhos).
This will be a unique opportunity to share experiences and knowledge, discover new friends and strengthen relationships, and learn from each other different ways of seeing the teachings of The Urantia Book from the varying perspectives of our different cultures.
There will be many activities—some recreational, others dedicated to study, including presentations, workshops and group prayer. And, of course there will be plenty of time for relaxation, socializing, and entertainment.
The purpose of the event is not intended to establish a daily routine for living the teachings, but it will encourage discussion and reflection on how we may strengthen and develop spirituality in the individual, flowing into further discussions and debate on the individual’s role in the broader community in relation to the fostering and development of cosmic consciousness. Finally, we intend to discuss practical aspects for developing and forming study groups as well as dissemination of the teachings of the fifth epochal revelation.
We anticipate that conference attendees will represent 15 different Latin American countries, as well as other regions of the world.
The event will be held in three languages with simultaneous translations into Portuguese, Spanish and English. All presentations and written works will also be produced in these three languages. To follow the event in your preferred language you must have your own device (phone, tablet or notebook) as well as a headset to connect to one of the three Zoom meeting rooms that will be transmitting the entire conference to the world.
The Monaco Hotel offers double rooms, complete with all the comfortable facilities. You can choose to have an exclusive apartment (individual price, USD $70.00 per day) or share with friends or family (event package price.)
The package negotiated by the conference organizers includes all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for R$ 184.00 per day, per person, which based on the current dollar exchange rate (3,70R$/1USD) is approximately USD $50.00 per day, or a total of USD $150.00 for the three-day event. There is an additional registration fee of R$ 111,00 (USD $30.00) per person. So the total cost for the conference is approximately USD $180.00.
Although the cost is reasonable, if you still have economic difficulties restricting you from attending, you may apply for a sponsorship that could cover the partial or total fee. Send your request to [email protected].
If you wish to take a tour of Brazil, be sure to plan your tour before or after the conference. Our organizational team will be happy to advise you on a suitable tour package.
For further information please visit the conference website at: urantiaconference.com or send an email to [email protected].
Please come and join us! We look forward to seeing you in November!
We are pleased to announce that the next International Conference for Urantia Association International will be held in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba, Cusco, Peru April 22—25, 2021 and will be hosted by the Urantia Association of Peru.
The theme will be Towards Cosmic Citizenship and the program will incorporate a combination of plenary sessions that will be held at the conference center, and workshops that will be held at the nearby famous archaeological sites. (The most beautiful and famous sites of the Incas are found in the Sacred Valley. A bus service will be provided to transport us to these sites and the costs will be included in the conference package price.)
For those interested in pre- and/or post-conference activities, the trains that go to Machu Picchu (one of the new Seven Wonders of the World) depart from the Sacred Valley and are close to the venue.
If you always wanted to go to Peru, then 2021 is the year to do it! This is a conference that should not be missed.
Click here for video tour
Esperanza Tovar and Andrés Ramírez, Colombia
The Bogota International Book Fair (FILBO) for 2018 was held in May over sixteen days. This was the 31st book fair to be organized by the Colombian Book Chamber and Corferias. This event is considered to be the most important cultural event in Colombia, and over 57,5000 people attended.
Year after year FILBO is a must date for everyone who enjoys culture and reading. Around 12,600 students from 114 state schools and 26,000 from 196 private schools from all over the country attended. Most attendees walked past the BogotaUrantia Association’s booth where a team of 43 very well-coordinated volunteers (8 of whom were under 30 years of age) served the Urantia revelation by displaying the book, handing out brochures and answering questions. Twenty-three thousand (23,000) information brochures with contact information and dates of upcoming activities produced many provocative questions. Five thousand (5,000) handbills with more detailed information were delivered to those who showed a deeper level of interest. A total of 70 books were sold, and we anticipate that many more will be sold during the year as a result of the contacts made during the event. One hundred and thirty (130) new email addresses were collected from interested people and four presentations on The Urantia Book were given in the conference rooms to approximately 70 people.
We are surprised by the fact that each year we meet more and more people who are already readers of The Urantia Book or who already know about it or have at least heard the word “Urantia.” Our efforts over many years are slowly but surely helping to familiarize people with the word “Urantia” and the book. We strongly believe that this is a great opportunity for volunteers to disseminate the teachings of the book as well as to get involved with the Association’s programs and experience the satisfaction of serving the revelation and forming strong bonds with fellow students of the book as they serve.
We are extremely grateful to both Urantia Association International and Urantia Foundation for their support of this project and we strongly encourage other associations to get involved in similar projects of service. The key words of Urantia Association are “teamwork” and “service,” and bookfairs are very good examples of projects where this can be put into practice.
Olga Lopez, Spain
The 17th National Meeting of Urantia Book readers in Spain was held in Zaragoza from April 28 to May 1. Zaragoza is the fifth most populated city in Spain and is located between Madrid and Barcelona. About 40 people attended and came from all the corners of the country.
The conference theme was “Living the Teachings.” This was a meeting that was primarily based on personal experience and was one of the most remarkable ever. Some volunteers shared their experiences based on the following four categories:
- Self-control and Self-mastery
- How We See Our Own Death
- Losing Our Loved Ones and Break-ups
After this sharing, the audience was invited to talk about their own experiences having to do with these subjects. It was very moving at times, and always inspiring.
There were also other activities. On Saturday right after the opening, Olga Lopez gave a talk on the Urantia Movement from 1955—the year The Urantia Book was first published—to the present day. This was followed by Javier Martinez, a reader from Madrid, who gave a captivating presentation about “A Transforming Revelation—the Personal Transformation.”
On Sunday morning we watched the movie “The Shack” which stimulated a very interesting debate. Even though this movie is mainly Christian in its approach, some of its dialogue could be considered “Urantian” which was the most interesting aspect of it.
Race to Nebadon Game
A workshop was held on the “Power of Prayer” where attendees—in groups of five or six people including a facilitator—shared the way they pray and how beneficial prayer has been to their lives. Again, the focus was on our personal experiences.
On Sunday evening we played a game created by some members of the Spanish Urantia Association Board, named “The Race to Nebadon.” In groups of three or four people, readers had to answer questions that allowed them to make progress along the path to Nebadon. It was a lot of fun and we all had a great time. It didn’t even matter who the winners were because we all reached our destination!
On Monday afternoon we walked into the city and visited some famous landmarks. To strengthen our fellowship, we ended our walk in the very famous district of Zaragoza known as “El Tubo” (The Tube) which is full of restaurants and bars where we enjoyed good conversations and delicious food! On Tuesday, the last day, according to our usual tradition, the Urantia Association of Spain held its annual meeting. All conference attendees were invited whether they were members or not. This year we saw some changes to the Board: Carmelo Martinez and Eduardo Altuzarra stood down as President and Treasurer and were replaced by Ginés Avilés and Ana María García respectively. Keep up the good work guys!
After lunch it was the time to say goodbye—the hardest part of all—but we took with us memories of the wonderful moments we all spent in together. I cannot wait for the next time we meet again!
Urantia Association of Spain
Gaetan Charland, Quebec
As a host of a study group have you ever wondered how effective your group is at promoting spiritual growth in its participants?
Have you ever questioned yourself about the value your group has in promoting the mission of The Urantia Book?
These are just two of the many legitimate questions we might ask ourselves as a host concerning the effectiveness of the study group we facilitate on a regular basis.
The pitfalls we may encounter in hosting study groups are many, especially if we are not cognizant or focused on the value study groups can have in promoting spiritual and intellectual growth, expanding cosmic consciousness and enhancing spiritual perception, contributing to the development of leaders and teachers, and encouraging participants to engage in service activities.
What are these pitfalls? In my opinion some can be:
- Having ill-defined or no goals for our study group.
- Always using the same format with no variation or experimentation of different approaches to study.
- Being too familiar or cliquey as a close-knit group and not welcoming new participants.
- Long intervals between each meeting.
- Failing to publish the group in study group directories and on contact lists, making it difficult for people to find you.
- Failing to share the responsibilities of hosting a group thus denying others the valuable experience of leadership development.
- Lacking the wisdom and practicality to choose relevant topics that best suit the group dynamic.
What are some things we can do to overcome these pitfalls? We can:
- Set goals for the group such as developing and promoting additional groups, encouraging participants to make presentations on designated topics, or organizing one-day conferences and social events that include other readers and groups from around the region.
- Change the way you manage your group by exploring new techniques such as introducing different ways to share the teachings; engage the group in Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS) courses, and allow the participants to share within the group their discoveries and life experiences.
- Attract new readers and additional participants by opening up your group to new technologies such as Zoom conference calling or Skype so you can have a virtual study group at the same time as your face-to-face meeting.
If you feel you or your group are not progressing or are “too comfortable” and do not wish to be jolted out of your comfort zone, then maybe you should present yourselves with some more challenges where you need to struggle to reach higher goals. Try introducing different ways of studying and explore new methods of learning—many secondary works, study aids and Journal articles are filled with quality material that can be used to introduce new avenues of exploration and study.
If you don’t meet very often, you could try meeting on a more regular basis at shorter intervals like once a week. Think of it like physical exercise; if we don’t exercise regularly, when we do exercise it usually isn’t as effective. The mind and soul obey the same laws of the universe as does the physical body—they need to exercise regularly to stay in shape so we may grow and be strong and healthy. Meeting at close intervals regularly replenishes our zest and courage for living and growing.
List your group in as many contact places as possible so you can attract seekers of truth who are searching and keen to meet with others to discuss things with meaning and value. Use The Urantia Book Study Group Directory (http://urantiastudygroup.org/find.php) or your association’s website, a Facebook page or small adds in your local newspaper.
Sharing the hosting responsibilities with different members of your group can increase their self-confidence and leadership abilities. Share the management of the group and the decision-making process for things like choosing which paper or topic to study; moderating the discussions by making sure everyone gets a fair turn at reading and speaking and making sure attendees are listened to with respect while speaking; curtailing those who dominate the discussion too much; and attempting to stimulate lively discussion.
Be practical in your group by making sure the topic you study has real life values supported by the participants’ experiences of life. Nothing compares to the sharing of real-life experiences to enhance what we are studying; it truly opens the mind to new meanings and values.
These are a few goals study groups can achieve if we want to make them more effective. If you want to learn more at how to improve your study group, I recently presented via a webinar on the effectiveness of study groups. You can view it at Urantia Association’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLCKFD7kluw
It is very important to have effective study groups if we want to share in the task of elevating our planet spiritually while we participate in the mission of The Urantia Book.
In spirit of brotherhood,
Study Group Chair
Urantia Association International
Jaap Terra, The Netherlands
August 21st 2018
As in previous years the Dutch Urantia Association (UAISUN) organizes an annual conference on August 21st to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnation of Michael of Nebadon.
Last year we enjoyed an upward trend in the number of visitors compared to previous years. We hope this development continues.
This year the conference will focus on The Faith of Jesus.
Paper 196 of The Urantia Book will be the main inspiration for presentations from a number of speakers, in particular this quote:
In the Master’s life on Urantia, this and all other worlds of the local creation discover a new and higher type of religion, religion based on personal spiritual relations with the Universal Father and wholly validated by the supreme authority of genuine personal experience. This living faith of Jesus was more than an intellectual reflection, and it was not a mystic meditation. [Paper 196:0.4, page 2087.4]
The conference will again be held at the Estate Groot Kievitsdal which is beautifully situated between the forests of the Estate Pijnenburg on the road between Hilversum and Baarn and is well-known as one of the most beautiful locations in this region. (www.grootkievitsdal.nl) This beautiful centre is perfectly equipped for conferences and social meetings.
For more information visit: www.urantia.nl
President of UAISUN—The Netherlands
E-mail: [email protected]
October 6th – 10th, 2018
You are invited to join Spanish-speaking students of The Urantia Book at the 2nd National Conference of the Urantia Association of Peru.
The theme will be: The Exercising of Brotherhood… Utopia or Reality?
Like last year, the conference will again be held in Pachacamac, a beautiful countryside region of Lima, 30 minutes away from the city.
The aim of this National Conference is to get to know the practical side of brotherhood. The conference will be held in Spanish and will be utilizing some plenary presentations, but mostly experiential workshops throughout the weekend.
Click here for more information
Check out Urantia Association International’s Events Calendar at http://urantia-association.org/events-list. Upcoming events can be viewed in a List or Calendar view.
Urantia Book reader events provide opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of the ideas and concepts presented in The Urantia Book and help to facilitate a personal commitment to the ideals of spiritual living. We hope you can make it to some of these events and experience the joys of meeting and studying with fellow readers.
If you’re planning a Urantia Book reader event in your region and would like help in promoting it, please send us your information and we’ll consider it for our Events Calendar.